Central Catholic – Ursuline Preview
Written by: Josh Funk on Monday, August 31st, 2009
The game: Pittsburgh Central Catholic (7, 0-0) vs. Youngstown Ursuline (OH Div. V, 1-0)
When: Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009 @ 6:00 p.m.
Where: Wheeling Island Stadium, Wheeling, W. Va.
About the game: In literary terms, a “foil” refers to two characters that are similar to one another. In football terms, both Ursuline and Central Catholic are foils of each other – the two programs display a workmanlike, efficient, yet physical nature to their football, reliant on the ground game and playing solid defense. In the fourth game of the Wheeling Hospital’s Rally in the Valley, these nearly identical styles collide on the Wheeling Island turf for what could be considered the most evenly matched game of the day.
About Pittsburgh Central Catholic: The Vikings have posted an impressive 73-9 overall record since the start of the 2003 season. Embedded in that stretch are a trio of WPIAL championships, two PIAA titles, and a run of five straight seasons of 10 wins or more. Central Catholic is coming off of an 8-3 record last season, falling in the WPIAL playoffs to McKeesport Area in the quarterfinals, 28-6.
Central Catholic was involved in some tight games last season – the average final margin of a Viking football game last year was 16.81 points. That margin narrowed considerably compared to the ’07 edition of the Vikings, whose games ended by an average margin of nearly 28 points. While tight games were on the order most weeks for PCC, they also did give up their share of points. Four opponents scored 28+ points in a game, and seven reached double-figures in points in a game.
The Vikings return a quality running back in sophomore Damian Jones-Moore, who led the team in rushing with over 800 yards last season. Defensively, the Vikings return linebacker Malik Johnson and defensive back David “DJ” Myers.
Head coach Terry Totten is 44-7 entering his 5th year at the helm of the Central Catholic ship.
About Youngstown Ursuline: Ursuline enters this showdown with the Vikings already a victor in this 2009 season. The Fighting Irish downed Columbus St. Charles, 46-22, extending its winning streak to 16 games following a perfect 15-0 season a year ago. The win marked the 11th time in the last 16 games that Ursuline has topped the 30-point plateau, and, since the start of the 2007 season, the Irish have scored 1,015 points, averaging nearly 33 points per game in that span.
The Fighting Irish are based in Youngstown, a city rich with football allure, tradition, and history. Ursuline’s chief rival is Cardinal Mooney…say no more. In its history, the green and gold boast 444 all-time victories, two state championships, eight 10-win seasons, three undefeated and untied seasons and 14 berths in the Ohio state football playoffs.
Ursuline is 28-3 since the start of 2007, but has never enjoyed a stretch of three consecutive 10-win seasons in its history, which dates back to 1930. That could be one feather in Dan Reardon’s cap, though he’d probably be happy if Ursuline were hoisting another state championship trophy at the end of November.
The Irish return running back Allen Jones (1,274 all-purpose yards, 17 TD) and quarterback/linebacker Dawalyn Harper (542 rush yards, 233 pass yards, 9 total TD; 97 tackles (7 TFL), 3 sacks). Ursuline ran a two-quarterback system last season, and their second field general also returns to the fold as well, according to Reardon.
Defensively, Ursuline has held 11 of its last 16 opponents to seven points or less.
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